The Journey of Pennsylvania greats Miles Sanders and Saquon Barkley









Two kids born in 1997 three months apart and in cities six hours away, Saquon Barkley and Miles Sanders were destined for greatness. Barkley was born in the Bronx, New York and Miles Sanders was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania through everything they went through both paths lead right back to each other. Both will be 22 when the 2019-20 season starts looking to extend their football legacies to another level.

Miles Sanders also made it more of an eye for an eye match up by choosing to wear jersey number 26 same jersey number as Saquon Barkley. In high school Sanders was an absolute freak of nature. Playing for Woodland Hills high school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania he was the face of the city. He was a top 20 prospect, the number one running back in the nation and the number one prospect in Pennsylvania for the class of 2016. Sanders was also the top ranked prospect for the 2016 Penn State recruiting class.




For Woodland hills Sanders rushed for a career total of 4,573 yards and 59 touchdowns. His best season was his senior season when he rushed for 1,523 yards and 16 touchdowns with an average of 11.2 yards per carry. In his first season he was put in a position he wasn’t used to being put in, being second. 2015 top Penn State recruit Saquon Barkley was just starting to shine.


The Barkley family moved to Pennsylvania when Saquon was young where he attended Whitehall high school in Whitehall, Pennsylvania. He had a monster senior season that saw him rush for 1,856 yards while rushing for an average of 8.6 per carry and totaling 31 touchdowns for White hall high school. Barkley was the 13th ranked running back in the nation and second ranked prospect in Pennsylvania by 247 sports. He arrived at Penn state a year before Sanders and was the top ranked Penn State recruit in the 2015 class.  Barkley made an instant impact his freshman season rushing for 1,076 7 touchdowns with an average of 5.9 yards per rush.






He not only made an impact, Saquon Barkley evolved to a superstar before our very eyes. His sophomore campaign saw him rush for a college career best 1,496 18 touchdowns with 28 receptions for 402 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns with 14.4 yards per catch. That year Sanders showed just how explosive he was in limited touches. Sanders rushed for 184 yards on 25 carries with a 7.4 per carry average. He caught only two passes for 24 yards and a touchdown. His best game that season was against Rutgers he rushed for 85 yards on 5 carries.





After such a successful 2016 season Barkley was considered a Heisman trophy favorite. Teams stacked the box against him constantly and still he was able to rush for 1,271 yards 18 touchdowns with 54 receptions 632 yards and 3 touchdowns. Sanders that year had 191 yards and 2 touchdowns with a 6.2 yards per carry average. He had a 3 carry 44 yard game against Georgia State plus a 7 carry 42 yard game against Maryland. Barkley entered the 2018 NFL draft after his junior year and went on to become the 2nd overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft and the 2018 offensive rookie of the year. He rushed for 1,307 11 touchdowns catching 91 passes for 721 yards and 4 touchdowns.

The following year Miles Sanders had a breakout season rushing for 1,274 yards 9 touchdowns with 24 receptions for 139 yards. He gave college football many highlights that year and reminded people why he was the number one running back in his class. His biggest game that season he rushed for 200 yards and 3 touchdowns with a 9.1 yard per carry average against Illinois. Sanders also had games of 162 yards against Michigan State and 159 yards against Wisconsin. He displayed his ability to be dangerous in both the run game and the pass game against Indiana when he rushed for 72 yards and caught 6 passes for 54 yards.




Both running backs that have cross paths many times in their football journey will now play each other twice a year in the NFC east division. Miles Sanders can stay home in Pennsylvania and play 4 hours away for the Philadelphia Eagles. Both were standouts at the NFL combine and if Sanders can have a standout rookie season as some have projected it will open up the door to Penn State being called RBU. This season should be the beginning of a showdown between two dynamic backs who will electrify football fans for years to come. No longer caught in each others shadow now the two elite talents will put on a show at the pro level.



5-star Corner: Julian Fleming





2020 5-star wider receiver Julian Fleming is next level star. He can dominate a game and change the outcome of a game on his own. At 6-3 210 he has the size and speed to be a match up problem against the most elite defenders. Fleming plays for Southern Columbia high school in Catawissa, Pennsylvania. He is the fourth ranked prospect, number one receiver and number one player in Pennsylvania by 247 sports in the 2020 football recruiting class. He talked about the NFL, his recruitment, and family.



LJ: You recently visited Penn State?

Julian: Yea I went to see my girlfriend and stopped by.

LJ: Who else besides Penn State is prioritizing you?

Julian: Ohio State

LJ: What do you think you need to improve on this past season?

Julian: My cuts I have gotten bigger and weigh more I feel like my cuts is the number one thing I need to improve on.

LJ: Do you have any other visits coming up?

Julian: I visit Clemson in March.

LJ: If you had to choose an NFL team to play for what team would it be?

Julian: The Steelers are my team by I love Aaron Rodgers

LJ: Oh you a PA man but it’s a receiver talking 

Julian: Yea it’s a receiver talking.




LJ: You a receiver so I know you take a look at receivers in the pro league to learn and to improve. What receiver do you watch resembles your game the best?

Julian: I look at Stefon Diggs tape. His footwork and technique is ridiculous.

LJ: Yeah He a dog good choice. Who do you feel like is the best receiver in the NFL?

Julian: I would have to go with Julio Jones and Antonio Brown.

LJ: Penn State is basically home you are from Pennsylvania so I know it’s easy to be acquainted. Who on Penn State are you close with?

Julian: Keaton Ellis and Jesse Luketa

LJ: How is it living in Catawissa, Pennsylvania?

Julian: I live in such a great area with no crime.

LJ: Is it a big football town?

Julian: Yes

LJ: What will determine where you commit?

Julian: What’s best for me and my family? A place I feel comfortable including academics.

LJ: What kind of character do you bring to an NFL locker room?

Julian: I have a lot of fire and I bring it on the field and in the locker room.

LJ: What makes you have the fire?

Julian: I am very competitive. I play with a lot of passion.

LJ: Where do you get that from you mom or pops?

Julian: My mom. She keeps my head straight. My grandfather put a basketball in my hands and taught me how to throw a football.

LJ:  What about your pops?

Julian: Not in the picture.


LJ: You have rare combination of size and speed. What type of impact would you bring to an NFL team?

Julian: An immediate one hopefully, that’s the dream.



Prospect Corner: Penn State DE Shareef Miller







Shareef Miller was a 3-star defensive end coming out of George Washington high school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At 6-5 259 his power and speed made him one of the menacing defensive prospects in college football. This past season was his best; Miller had 41 tackles, 15 tackles for a loss and 7.5 sacks for the Nittany Lions. The Philly native recently declared for the NFL draft after his junior campaign. He had a talk with NFL draft room about what he brings to an NFL team and what he had to overcome coming up.

LJ: What made you feel like this was the year for you to declare for the NFL draft?

Shareef: I feel my time here my production increased every year and I just think coming back to PSU wouldn;t have helped me any better. I would’ve been the same player my senior year.

LJ: I feel you are a 4th round prospect with the potential to reach the 3rd round what have scouts told you?

Shareef: At the end of the day I can control where I get drafted. Scouts have told me rounds 2 through 4 but again that doesn’t matter unless you put the work in. For me I like that I don’t have the hype its cool I will just work.

LJ: I feel you can be an NFL starter. What about your play makes you an impact player?

Shareef: I can pass rush, I can play in space, I’m an effort player. It’s very few DEs than can chase WR and RBs 40 yards down the field. I’m athletic and raw once I get the right coach that teaches the fundamentals I will be the best. I will also run a fast 40 at the combine as a DE.

LJ: How has playing at PSU made you a better player?

Shareef: It made me a good college player. My defensive line coach Sean Spencer taught me a lot and I also learned a lot from older guys from the past.

LJ: What about your character will NFL teams like?

Shareef: They will like that I am a hard worker a guy that is going to compete and give his all. A guy that loves to win and coming from where I’m coming from and overcoming things I did to get to this point. I really think I will win a lot of teams over at the end of the day I need one team to fall in love with me.

LJ: With me being born in Philadelphia I know the toughness you must have in you. What part of Philly are you from? What has it been like growing up in Philly?

Shareef: I’m from Frankford. It was rough and tough and I live in a single parent home. It was a lot of negativity and violence a lot of my friends got killed. I just had to stay to myself and make it out with football. A lot of people wouldn’t make it from the inner city because it was a slim chance you would make it out because the wrong decision could change your life seriously. I had to survive those streets ain't no love out there where I’m from.



5-Star Corner: LSU OT Kardell Thomas







Kardell Thomas has rare athleticism at 6’4 328. He is a 5-star offensive guard who is the 25th prospect by Rivals, 32nd prospect by 247 sports and 86th prospect by ESPN for the 2019 class. He committed to LSU after efforts by major programs such as Penn state, Florida State, and Alabama. He went to Southern University Lab high school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. We talked about what he would bring to a team and why he committed to LSU.

LJ: You are elite as a run blocker and pass blocker. What makes you such an impact linemen?
Kardell: What makes me an impact lineman is my athleticism at 340, the way I can move in situations and react on the fly most lineman can’t do that at 290 or lower and don’t have everything to make key blocks, they have to get it. I can do everything I just have to work hard and make it perfect because I can get the job done but it can be perfect with me perfecting techniques, God has blessed me.

LJ: Why did you choose not only to commit to LSU but stay at LSU? So many teams were after you to de-commit.
Kardell: Being home and being close to my family who have sacrificed so much to see me become what I’m, it’s only right they be able to make every game and also It’s these people in Louisiana who have put me on a high horse and expect a lot from me, I love this city this state and can never turn my back on them, everywhere I go the people of this great state salute me and you see the hope in their eyes of me becoming what they perceive me as which is a legend in the making that will work hard with my brothers to bring a national championship to this state.

LJ: What team was second to LSU?
Kardell: Florida when they had Brad Davis as their O-line coach, he was a friend of the family and with me knowing him I was comfortable, so it wasn’t so much as Florida the school itself it was Coach Davis.

LJ: How was it growing up in Baton Rouge? What struggles did you have to overcome that people don’t know about?

Kardell: It wasn’t really that hard my parents kept me from seeing struggles. And I feel that made me who i am today I had a childhood that was good. My parents sacrificed their last to get me to camps and that made me appreciate them more than ever.

LJ: What has LSU told you about your future with the program?

Kardell: LSU has put my future in perspective for me; it’s going to be up to me to meet my destiny there. I have a great chance to go in and start.

LJ: What type of impact would you bring to an NFL team?
Kardell: Honestly a guaranteed weapon who can open holes when it’s crunch time and also get up to the second level to clear it for the running back. And also they can use me to catch passes fluently to score.

LJ: What type of character do you bring to an NFL team?
Kardell: A leader of men, a guy who everybody wants to be around, and a guy who teammates will put it all on the line for him knowing he will do the same in return, also a man of God.

LJ: What positive impact do you bring to an NFL team in the locker room?
Kardell: A Positive impact that I bring is a funny attitude a guy who can make you laugh regardless.

LJ: It’s a lot of players who get in bad situations off the field. What about you tell teams you won’t be a problem off the field?
Kardell: My character when you look at me and talk to me it’s easy to tell I’m far from a trouble maker.

LJ: Do you feel like you can impact an NFL team from day 1?
Kardell: Yes Sir but I also know I have to grow too. I won’t be perfect but I won’t be a bust.

LJ: Do you feel you will make the starting lineup day 1 at LSU?
Kardell: I have to play my role and work for it that will come when it’s time.

LJ: What makes you such a special player?
Kardell: God I’m different in every aspect and it’s scary but understands that God blesses me with this talent.

LJ: What NFL player do you model your game after? Who do you feel is the best offensive linemen in the NFL?
Kardell: I look at Larry Allen these days linemen are getting called for being aggressive so I don’t model my game after them.

LJ: If you could pick an NFL team to play for who would it be?
Kardell: Carolina Panthers

LJ: What is any team getting with Kardell Thomas?
Kardell: A dog who isn’t afraid to bite. Or step up to a challenge.



1 on 1 with 2020 DE Sean Pelkisson

Sean Pelkisson is a 6-3 230 defensive end in the 2020 recruiting class who plays for Downingtown West high school in
Downingtown, Pennsylvania. He is a menace good speed and power to bully offenses at the line of scrimmage. He can close in on runners giving them no breathing room and he can apply instant pressure on the quarterback. Pelkisson had 100 total tackles(61 solo tackles) 25 tackles for a loss and 6 sacks his junior season. His physical build and play could see him be a linebacker at the pro level. I had a talk with him about his recruitment and growth as a player. Plus the impact he can provide at the next level.

LJ: You are an impressive prospect. When did you know you wanted to play football?
Sean: My mom swears I have had a ball of some sort in my hand since birth. I loved watching football with my grandfather and started playing flag at the age of 5. I played quarterback in youth leagues and freshman year but really took to defense as a sophomore. I want to play football in college and I am committed to working my butt off for the coaches and program that believes in me.

LJ: What was your most impressive game this past season? What were the stats in that game?
Sean: I had two games where the stats were almost identical. The Downingtown East game I had 12 tackles and really managed to disrupt their run game. I was all over the field and got to their QB a ton. The Avon Grove game I had 10 tackles, but I got to their QB through double teams and disrupted their game plan all night. I even had a pancake block so my teammate could run in a 50 yard TD!

LJ: What programs have been showing you the most interest?
Sean: I feel like I just made a name for myself on defense this year so I haven’t gotten to talk to a lot of coaches. I had a game day visit at Towson, was invited to Kent State for a game and received twitter DMs from a few coaches but no heavy recruiting yet. I’m confident in my abilities and I will continue to work hard on the field and in the class room and I know I will find the right program. I can promise any coach looking for a hard worker, who will give 100% every practice, drill and game, that I am your guy. I have emailed my game film to every DE coach on the east coast, so I’m willing to work to get noticed.

LJ: What makes you a stand out as an elite defensive end?
Sean: I’m not 6’5 so a lot of folks don’t think I’m tall enough to play DE. But, I get off the line very quickly and I think I surprise other teams with my strength. Starting as a sophomore at defensive end I was playing against much bigger and stronger lineman. I spent all off season in the weight room and with a speed coach to ensure I was more powerful going into my junior season. I put on thirty pounds, and I improved from 31 tackles as a sophomore to 100 as a junior. I’m back in the weight room and speed & agility workouts determined to have a beast of a senior year. What I may lack in height I make up for in tenacity!

LJ: What visits do you have scheduled?
Sean: I am planning on visiting Delaware, Merrimack, JMU and Lehigh. I went to a game day visit at Towson back in November.

LJ: What are your top schools right now?
Sean: My top schools in no order are JMU, Temple, Towson, Villanova, Lehigh, NC State, Coastal Carolina, Merrimack, University of Delaware, Richmond, Monmouth, St. Francis, Bucknell, Colgate and PSU

LJ: Do you have a dream offer?
Sean: My dream offer would to be to play under Sean Spencer at PSU

LJ: What are you looking for in a school to commit to?
Sean: A good education, a strong family atmosphere and a football program that will challenge me to be my absolute best.

LJ: What do coaches of other programs like about you?
Sean: I’ve gotten feedback that I interfere with teams run games and put a ton of pressure on their quarterbacks. One coach pulled me aside after our game and said "kid you were everywhere we wanted to go." By mid-season a lot of teams ran away from my side, so I had to worker harder to get in on plays and make tackles. I’m relentless and I’m going to keep coming for you the entire game.



FBS and FCS Top 25 College Football Rankings



 FBS

RK
TEAM
REC
PTS
TREND
1
ClemsonClemson(61)
15-0
1525
1
2
14-1
1462
1
3
13-1
1364
2
4
12-2
1356
-
5
12-1
1286
2
6
10-3
1119
5
7
10-3
1103
3
11-3
1103
1
9
10-4
1076
5
10
11-2
959
2
11
12-1
898
4
12
10-3
820
4
13
10-4
806
4
14
10-3
745
6
15
10-3
683
2
16
9-4
552
5
17
9-4
492
4
18
12-2
466
1
19
11-2
418
3
20
8-4
296
5
21
9-5
284
NR
22
11-2
188
NR
23
10-3
184
-
24
11-2
171
NR
25
9-4
120
NR


FCS


FCS Coaches Poll
RK
TEAM
REC
PTS
TREND
LAST WEEK
NEXT WEEK
1
15-0
650
-
-
2
12-3
623
1
-
3
10-3
590
2
-
4
11-2
558
2
-
-
5
10-4
521
9
-
6
10-3
502
2
-
-
7
10-2
492
-
-
-
8
10-3
468
2
-
-
9
10-0
432
1
-
-
10
9-4
405
4
-
-
11
10-2
388
-
vsAlcorn StateW24-22
-
12
9-4
364
-
-
-
13
9-4
347
4
-
-
14
9-4
328
1
-
-
15
9-1
275
-
-
-
16
9-4
235
4
-
-
17
8-5
193
7
-
-
18
7-5
161
2
-
-
19
6-5
153
2
-
-
20
9-3
133
2
-
-
21
8-4
128
-
-
-
22
7-5
92
3
-
-
23
7-5
89
-
-
-
24
9-4
83
NR
-
-
25
7-4
77
3
RK
TEAM
REC
PTS
TREND
LAST WEEK
NEXT WEEK
1
15-0
650
-
-
2
12-3
623
1
-
3
10-3
590
2
-
4
11-2
558
2
-
-
5
10-4
521
9
-
6
10-3
502
2
-
-
7
10-2
492
-
-
-
8
10-3
468
2
-
-
9
10-0
432
1
-
-
10
9-4
405
4
-
-
11
10-2
388
-
vsAlcorn StateW24-22
-
12
9-4
364
-
-
-
13
9-4
347
4
-
-
14
9-4
328
1
-
-
15
9-1
275
-
-
-
16
9-4
235
4
-
-
17
8-5
193
7
-
-
18
7-5
161
2
-
-
19
6-5
153
2
-
-
20
9-3
133
2
-
-
21
8-4
128
-
-
-
22
7-5
92
3
-
-
23
7-5
89
-
-
-
24
9-4
83
NR
-
-
25
7-4
77
3